More than $21 Million Awarded by the V Foundation for Cancer Research in 2021

All-Time Grant Total Nearly $290 Million

Cary, N.C. [November 15, 2021] –The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, has awarded grants worth more than $21 million for cutting-edge cancer research in 2021. The total grant funding by the Foundation has now reached nearly $290 million.

Each year, the Foundation invites NCI-designated cancer centers nationwide to nominate researchers for each grant category, Translational and V Scholar, for funding consideration. The V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), made up of world-class researchers from leading cancer centers, reviews and recommends the most promising projects for funding. This rigorous process ensures proposals meet the highest standards of scientific merit.

“After many difficult months during which the COVID-19 pandemic affected not just fundraising but also disrupted research at many institutions, we are delighted to report a strong funding year to drive critical cancer research forward and nurture young research talent through these difficult times,” said Carole Wegner, Ph.D., senior vice president of research and grants administration.

The V Foundation awarded 18 Translational grants and 37 V Scholar grants in 2021. Translational grants are a three-year commitment of $200,000 per year. These grants support “bench to bedside” research, whose endpoint is often planning or initiation of a clinical trial. V Scholar grants provide researchers with $200,000 of funding over a two-year commitment and are awarded to innovative young scientists establishing their research careers.

A total of $3.7 million was awarded through the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund in 2021. The Stuart Scott Fund was created in 2015 in memory of beloved ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott. Scott was a cancer research advocate, especially for minority populations, even before his own cancer diagnosis. The Fund is dedicated to reducing inequalities in both cancer care and cancer research, as well as supporting early career researchers from underrepresented minorities.

A total of $5 million was awarded through the Dick Vitale Fund for Pediatric Cancer. Funded studies include research for brain, blood and bone cancers, among others. Nearly $60 million has been awarded through the fund named for V Foundation board member Dick Vitale, a tireless champion for pediatric cancer research.

The Translational research project that receives one of the highest ratings by the SAC is annually designated as the Nick Valvano Translational Research Grant.  Nick Valvano, Jim Valvano’s brother, served as CEO for 13 years and has been a V Foundation Board Member since 1993. This year, Steven Reiner, M.D., from Columbia University, received the distinction.

“Support from the V Foundation for our research will be transformative,” said Reiner. “When we began studying blood samples from cancer patients, we quickly realized the test we developed might predict which patients will respond to immunotherapy, something important to patients and their doctors. I am honored to receive the Nick Valvano Translational Research Grant, which could help make immunotherapy even more effective for a greater number of cancer patients.”

An additional Translational research project receiving one of the highest ratings by the SAC is annually designated as the Bob Bast Translational Research Grant. Bob Bast, M.D., chaired the V Foundation’s SAC for over 20 years and continues to serve on the SAC and V Foundation board. Shivani Srivastava, Ph.D., from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, received the honor.

Andrew Venteicher, M.D., Ph.D., from Masonic Cancer Center, and Yuxuan Miao, Ph.D., from the University of Chicago, tied for the Martin D. Abeloff Scholar Award, recognizing the highest reviewer-scored V Scholar grant recipient.

The V Foundation holds 10 consecutive 4-star (highest) ratings from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities, making the Foundation among the top 2% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is also a GuideStar Platinum-rated charity.

For more information about the V Foundation, its grants program, the Scientific Advisory Committee or to donate, please visit v.org. A complete list of the 2021 grant recipients can be found here.


About the V Foundation for Cancer Research  
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded nearly $290 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class Scientific Advisory Committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations is awarded to cancer research and programs.  The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer®. To learn more, visit v.org.